The world’s first purpose-built purely electric double-decker bus is to enter passenger service in London later this year.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson made the announcement this week as he hosted representatives and bus manufacturers from around the world for the first ever global Clean Bus Summit.

Bus manufacturers including BYD, Volvo, Wright Bus, Optare Mercedes Evo Bus and Alexander Dennis attended the summit and committed to supporting cities in delivering fleets of new ultra-low emission buses. The World Bank and Green Investment Bank have also signed up to this commitment.

Since 2008, London has rolled out more than 1,300 hybrid electric buses, retrofitted more than 1,400 buses to reduce their emissions by up to 88pc and developed the New Routemaster, one of the cleanest double deck buses of its type in the world.  According to the Mayor’s office, London will have 800 New Routemasters by 2016 reducing CO2 emissions in the city by around 27,500 tonnes a year.

Meanwhile, the all-electric double-decker trial will see the zero-emission electric double-deck buses manufactured by BYD enter service on route 16 from October, running between Cricklewood and Victoria Station.

London will also shortly get delivery of two Irizar-manufactured electric single-deck buses. The city already has eight single-deck electric buses manufactured by Optare and BYD that have been used in its bus fleet since 2013.  London’s first pure electric bus route, the 312 – which runs between Norwood and South Croydon – will also be created later this year.

“The iconic red double-decker bus is about to become greener than ever. I could not be more pleased that London will play host to these exciting pure electric double-deck buses, and I’m sure the lucky users of route 16 will embrace it with gusto,” said Johnson.

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